How do you get your Doodle through the autumn tangle-free?
The new year has already started and although most of us are already looking forward to spring, we still have to make do with the cold and wet for a few months (at least, when like me you are living in country that's cold most of the year). As you can tell from my words and matching tone, I'm not a fan of autumn and winter. My boyfriend always says that I have one ideal temperature and that is about 26 degrees Celcius. And although it is quite possible to deviate from this by 5 degrees (downwards, preferably not too much upwards), he is reasonably right. I am a huge cold and very sensitive to the weather. The slightest breath of wind gives me goosebumps. Every breeze blowing over my bare arms seems to be absorbed and held tight by my body. But if it's too hot I feel like a hot air balloon, so 30 degrees and warmer is too much for me. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong country. My skin and hair are clearly not made for wind and icy cold. It makes my curls really dry, static and frizzy (but putting on a hat isn't an option either, because then my hair becomes too flat and I'm forced to never take my hat off again) and my face becomes red and swollen. Oh, and my eyes are watering…not a pretty sight. These are the months in which I avoid the mirror like the plague.
So enjoying a breath of fresh air on the beach in the fall? Not me. Better tuck me in with a good book under a blanket on a comfortable chair or couch. Hot chocolate with whipped cream (or a nice big cup of green tea), gas fire on and let me steam for a few hours. Or better delete the gas fireplace, because with the rising prices for gas in this country, that's not an option anymore.
Preparing for winter
In preparation for winter and trying to avoid trouble from the rising gas prices, I have spent the past few weeks looking for the right protective clothes for me. I scoured Vinted (an app where people offer their second hand clothes for small prices) Merino wool jumpers, teddy-lined cardigans and winter coats, padded gloves and padded boots. And for the first time in my life I bought woolen underwear (that sounds very ancient, I know, but underwear made of partly Merino wool is said to feel very comfortable. Once you get used to it, you won't want anything else). Moral of the story: as a cold and sensitive person I go to great lengths to keep myself warm and to put on some kind of artificial fur, while our Doodles naturally have that warm fur, with all the discomforts it brings.
Wet weather and long coats; a bad combo
Because keeping myself warm in this weather is one thing. Allthough I don't have to keep Joy warm, cold and wet weather create their own challenges. Every time Joy gets wet outside I have to A. prevent her from getting the whole house dirty with her wet paws upon entering and B. I have to, more importantly; make sure that her wet fur does not just air dry, because then she will get tangles. What to do? Letting her waer a special rain coat, where the back remains dry, but the belly and legs still get soaking wet? (which are the most tangle-sensitive body parts). That doesn't really sound like a good solution. In my case it's simple: we completely covered the hallway with special water absorbent carpeting, so when Joy returns from walking or cycling totally wet, I first dry her body and legs with a bamboo towel in the hallway. This way the towel absorbs most of the moisture. Then I walk through the kitchen with Joy to the shed, where I blow her dry with the pet dryer. Joy is super laid back (always has been) and blowing out the fur is part of the drill so to speak, so she stands still while I do my thing. However, I know that's not always the case for other Doodle owners, especially when your Doodle is still young. And especially if your Doodle is very sensitive, therefore reacting differently to all kinds of stimuli. An pet dryer with an extra low sound is a godsend. Provided you know how to use it appropriately.
Free Doodle Comfort & Care week: are you there?
But drying the coat is often not enough to keep it tangle free and it's quite a hassle, especially if the fur is longer and perhaps already contains a few tangles. The longer and thicker the coat, the longer it will take to dry your Doodle. And that can sometimes be quite a challenge.
During the free Doodle Comfort & Care week that I am organizing once a month, I will post a tip every day for the best way to deal with the fur, to avoid these kinds of problems. In addition to coat care, I will also discuss Doodle health, because how many Doodles do you know that get sick at an early age? When there's so much you can do to avoid this that you don't even know about?
The Comfort & Care week offers a helping hand for owners who would like to take the well-being of their Doodle into their own hands, but are still hesitant. And offers owners who just got a puppy some nice guidelines for a healthy start and long life. Please let me know in my FaceBook group if you would like to join me, then I hope to “see” you soon.
Lots of Doodle love,
Wanda & Joy